Career advice on LinkedIn

By Adam Earnheardt

My friend and local attorney Jan Mostov recently posted, “I presume there are thousands of people who can say they found their ‘dream job’ through LinkedIn.” He went on to ask his friends to “say a few words” and offer advice.

Mostov’s LinkedIn “dream job” inquiry is not uncommon.

Some who responded to his post echoed his frustration with the ability of the platform to make meaningful connections with other professionals and create opportunities.

When I saw his post, I was immediately reminded of conversations I’ve had with others about the utility of LinkedIn when it comes to career advice.

What has LinkedIn done for me lately? It’s a common refrain heard from professionals regardless of industry, education, gender, age, race and ethnicity.

Before I responded to Mostov’s post, I was reminded of conversations I’ve had with others who find LinkedIn to be a powerful professional platform.

Personally, I think Jim Cossler has the best LinkedIn advice.

Cossler is the Huntington Bank Entrepreneur in Residence at the Youngstown Business Incubator. I often refer to Cossler as a LinkedIn power user. He’s harnessed the ability to make connections with people in his industry – professionals who want to know what he knows, and get his advice.

Speaking of advice, Cossler was already responding to Mostov when I was ready to chime in.

“There is a huge difference between being ‘on’ LinkedIn and being ‘visible’ on LinkedIn,” Cossler wrote. “One way to do that is to publish or re-publish the content your target market wants. I do that for startups and entrepreneurs.”

And he’s absolutely right. LinkedIn has become the “go to” social media landing spot for those seeking professional advice.

LinkedIn recently made it a lot easier to not only find that advice, but to create a mentoring profile for giving advice.

“Mentorship is an important part of developing and sustaining a satisfying career and improving your professional life, regardless of whether you’re a mentee or mentor,” LinkedIn posted in its Career Advice platform launch.

“Our research has found that more than 80 percent of professionals on LinkedIn have stated they either want to have a mentor or be one to others, but have a hard time knowing where to start.”

LinkedIn’s new service, Career Advice, makes it easier to create connections through the network with something they refer to as “lightweight mentorship opportunities.”

“Whether you’re looking for best practices for approaching a new project ... or intel on switching industries, Career Advice can help you connect with the right person,” LinkedIn posted.

To access Career Advice, visit your profile, enter your preferences, and LinkedIn will make matches for giving and receiving advice.

Interests you have in common with someone might also lead to connections with professionals outside your network.

Making these new connections will broaden your network and, possibly, lead you to that dream job.

Adam Earnheardt is chair of the department of communication at Youngstown State University. Follow him on Twitter at @adamearn. Have a column idea? Email him at

More like this from

Subscribe Today

Sign up for our email newsletter to receive daily news.

Want more? Click here to subscribe to either the Print or Digital Editions.